Bethlehem Authority Improved Forest Management Project
Improved Forest Management (IFM)
Monroe & Carbon Counties, Pennsylvania USA
The Bethlehem Authority Improved Forest Management Project Area is a 17,591-acre split-parcel situated in Monroe County and Carbon County, Pennsylvania. The Project Area has been put under a 60-year term conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) with the intention of conserving the property and managing its forest resources sustainably into perpetuity. The project activity will employ a sustainable level of harvesting as specified in the FSC compliant management plan required by the conservation easement, and will facilitate improvements in the overall health of the forest. The implementation of this project is expected to bring about an estimated 943,370 tc02e in emission reductions over the project lifetime.
The project will extend the rotation age of the timber resource on the property by approximately 70 years compared to Common Practice, thereby reducing carbon emissions and increasing carbon sequestration. The common practice harvesting approach on forest comparable to the Project Area consist of clear and patch cut removals of merchantable timber on a re-entry of 30 years or less. The project will instead adopt a 100-year rotation, heavily dependent upon a two-staged, group selection based, shelterwood harvest system. The concept is to establish or advance desirable seedlings (regeneration) through an initial harvest entry that typically removes the poletimber (mid-story) along with a moderate percentage of the overstory. Once regeneration reaches adequate stocking of a desirable composition (10 years) a final removal occurs, removing the majority of the residual overstory.